PLANET Legislative Update
At the federal level
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator released an action plan to guide the Obama administration's historic efforts to restore the Great Lakes. The action plan, which the administrator unveiled at a February 21, 2010 meeting with governors from the Great Lakes states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, lays out the most urgent threats facing the Great Lakes and sets out goals, objectives, and key actions over the next five years to help restore the lakes. Two of the main focuses that our industry must monitor are protection of high-priority watersheds and reduction runoff from urban and suburban sources.
The White House Council on Environmental Quality recently released draft guidance that directs federal agencies to consider greenhouse gas emissions and climate change effects when carrying out National Environmental Policy Act reviews. One side note is that the EPA has expressed concern about Lyme disease increasing because of climate change that favors the spread of tick populations. All individuals that work outside and that can be exposed to ticks need to know about Lyme disease.
At the State Level
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) is creating a new organic lawn and landscape program called "Be Green" with input from the green industry, including from PLANET. The program will require special training by approved individuals for anyone who works for a company that wants to offer organic lawn care service to consumers. It will be interesting to see how many companies will want the ability to provide this service and will use the state's logo for the program. Currently, there appears to be insufficient funds for the state to promote the program. The NYSDEC hopes to have the program ready for this season, but much work is needed and final decisions still have to be made.
Virginia, Iowa, Maryland and Washington
Fertilizer Legislation continues to be the main subject of discussion in the legislative bodies of several states: Virginia, Iowa, Maryland and Washington have the most activity. …